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Is there a meaning behind the names of the ten sons of Haman who were killed and hung (Esther 9:7-9)? They are:

פַּרְשַׁנְדָּתָא Parshandasa

דַּלְפוֹן Dalphon

אַסְפָּתָא Aspasa

פּוֹרָתָא Porasa

אֲדַלְיָא Adalia

אֲרִידָתָא Aridasa

פַּרְמַשְׁתָּא Parmashta

אֲרִיסַי Arisai

אֲרִידַי Aridai

וַיְזָתָא Vaizasa

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1 Answer 1

R. Mordechai Sasson, in his sefer דבר בעתו in the section called "רמזי מגלה", explains that Haman symbolizes the Yetzer Harah (evil inclination), and his ten sons allude to its ten bad character traits. Their death, brought about by Mordechai and Esther, represents the nullification of such evil traits by being overpowered by the Yetzer Tov (good inclination). He goes through the ten sons, and explains the meaning of each name and how each corresponds to a particular type of evil:

  • פרשנדתא (Parshandasa) — the Yetzer Harah distances (מפריש) a person from the Torah (דתא).
  • דלפון (Dalphon) — it is a דלת (door) to פניות רעות (bad intentions): it makes a person who is performing a Mitzvah do so with wrong intentions.
  • אספתא (Aspasa) — means "gathering" — the Yetzer Harah gives a person the desire to gather piles of money so that he will have no time for Torah study and performing Mitzvos.
  • פורתא (Porasa) — פורת spelt backwards is תורף, a word used by the Talmud to indicate a woman's private parts — the Yetzer Harah makes a person desire to gaze at uncovered women.
  • אדליא (Adalia) — from lifted up (דלה) — feelings of haughtiness and arrogance.
  • ארידתא (Aridasa) — the Yetzer Harah appears to a person praying like a lion (ארי) to distract him.
  • פרמשתא (Parmashta) — it rips apart (פורם) the strong connection (שתי, literally criss-cross of a garment) that exists between fellow Jews.
  • אריסי (Arisai) — it continuously poisons a person with the venom (ארס) of the snake.
  • ארידי (Aridai) — the evil that subjugates (רודה) a righteous person with suffering and worries about his livelihood.
  • ויזתא (Vaizasa) — the bitterness of the olive (זית) — symbolizing bitter and strong judgement.
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